August 1, 2014 by 250 Beers
“What the firkin hell is this?” I hear you ask. Well, let me explain…
‘Who the firkin hell is…?’ is a weekly glimpse into the lives of individuals that work (some tirelessly) to bring the Brisbane public the very best in good beer. Some are brewers, some own/work in your favourite bar, some are retailers and some are brewery reps.
If you don’t know what a firkin is then the whole beer-related, play-on-words title will be lost on you right?! Fear not – click here for more information on firkins.
In the chair this week is Ben Frost – a New South Welshman recently setting foot into the hotpot that is the craft beer scene here in South East Queensland.
Chief Ranga at Crafty Ranga. I’m an independent rep currently looking after Six String Brewing Company, Riverside Brewing Company, All Inn Brewing Co, Badlands Brewery and Two Italian Boys wines.
How long have you been doing that for?
Only a little over 3 months now.
What were you up to before that?
Living in a little town south of Brisbane called Sydney running pubs for the past 13 years. My main stomping ground was the Old Fitzroy Hotel in Woolloomooloo for about 8 years.
What is the best part about your job?
Being the new kid on the block it’s all new to me so meeting the guys and girls in the Queensland craft beer and hospitality scene is a lot of fun. Also working more ‘normal’ hours means I get to see my beautiful wife a lot more.
What was your ‘epiphany beer’? The beer that made you ‘turn your back on cack’?
Coopers Pale Ale has always been a beer dear to my heart. But my first ‘wow’ beer was about 10 years ago – the Scharers Lager from Picton, NSW.
Have you ever had a beer that has totally blown you away? If so, what was it?
Way too many over the past few years to narrow it down to one. Recently I was very taken aback by the Epic Hop Zombie.
What is your preferred style of beer and why?
Anything ‘Pale Ale’ is good for me but I also love the Aussie lager.
If I gave you $100 in cash right now with the only proviso being that you had to spend it on beer, what would you indulge in?
Buying a beer for everyone that has been such a help and influence to me over my first few months of moving to Queensland and starting my business.
I have a large hoard of empty beer bottles and another of beer glassware. Do you have any beer-related vices?
Stubby holders – around 100 of them from all over the world.
In your opinion, where’s the best place to grab a decent beer in Brisbane?
A beer at home with family and friends is pretty hard to beat but more often than not I find myself calling into Brewski Bar and The Scratch.
What is so good about it there?
Awesome staff and they change their taps so often that it’s good fun trying to keep up.
Bottles or cans?
Yes please……just as happy to drink both.
What are your hopes for the future of Brisbane’s craft beer industry?
To continue to go from strength to strength and keep sharing the love between all independent craft breweries. Ideally one day soon to have enough of a voice to minimise the agreements offered to them by the ‘big boys’.
This isn’t a job interview but where do you see yourself in five years time?
Still doing what I’m doing. It’s only very early days for Crafty Ranga so to keep supporting the independent and to always have good friends and my family around me.
What would your response be if somebody stopped you in the street and asked you what your favourite beer blog is?
250 Beers all day long – always a reliable read on what’s happening in and around the traps and on the taps.
Thanks to Ben ‘Frosty’ Frost for being on this week. I’m sure everybody will join me in wishing him well in his new venture – even if he does hail from south of the border!
Previous ‘Who the firkin hell is…?’ appearances can be found by clicking here.